[racket] iPhone (Was: [The Racket Blog] New comment on Racket.)

From: Neil Van Dyke (neil at neilvandyke.org)
Date: Fri Jun 18 11:49:00 EDT 2010

I have gotten a somewhat less favorable impression of Apple's motives 
and methods...

I believe that Apple has been in anticompetitive territory, such as 
killing off apps when when they now compete with their own offerings or 
partnerships, and prohibiting features that would let developers or 
users add behavior that Apple could not kill off in this way when it 
becomes competition.

There is also anti-free-speech territory, with Apple prohibiting 
"objectionable" content.  Although sometimes they have disingenuously 
used the "family values" line for anticompetitive purposes, such as 
prohibiting a Project Gutenberg e-book viewer because that competes with 
big-business selling e-books, or prohibiting independent apps with 
bikini pictures but selling a Playboy app.)

Google has a "don't be evil" policy, but Apple's new policy seems to be 
more like, "be a fashionable rich kid, and you can get away with 
anything." :)

I believe that this is relevant to any Racket developers considering 
whether or how they want to be investing in and supporting the iPhone 

Robby Findler wrote at 06/18/2010 11:15 AM:
> We are a fair bit off topic here, but what I see in Apple's policies
> is a desire to ensure that their devices behave in consistent,
> well-designed ways and to make that happen they have decided to do
> things like charge more money for them (presumably to pain for the
> extra work that goes into the design process), design their own
> hardware & software platform together, and to limit the kinds of
> third-party stuff that can go on them. They do this in order to
> guarantee they are easy to use and thus hope to sell more of them.
> While I certainly agree with the sentiment that they go to far to
> achieve this end (and I personally find their earlier PL-based
> restrictions to be very disappointing) I can't see how this could be
> considered an ethical issue.
> Robby
> On Friday, June 18, 2010, Neil Van Dyke <neil at neilvandyke.org> wrote:
>> I think it's both.  I mentioned the ethical question because one could probably find a worthwhile risk-reward solution for the short-term self-interest economics question, or one could find a way to cover one's own butt (perhaps involving a backroom deal and PR leverage), but I think that the ethics (collective, long-term) problem of supporting the iPhone iron-fisting is harder to resolve.
>> Robby Findler wrote at 06/18/2010 10:33 AM:
>> Why is this an ethical question and not an economic one?
>> Robby
>> On Friday, June 18, 2010, Neil Van Dyke <neil at neilvandyke.org> wrote:
>> Apple has been brutal with iPhone developers, running the platform as a ruthless and fickle dictatorship.  I believe that this is the general perception of iPhone developers.
>> Even if one is willing to jump through Apple's hoops, and one accepts that, at any time and for any reason, Apple will have no qualms about simply kicking one off the platform, instantly and without explanation... I believe that there is also an ethical question of whether supporting the iPhone platform is contributing to the success of Apple's ruthless, anti-competitive, and closed-platform practices.
>> Android, Symbian, the new Nokia Qt stuff, Java... all alternative mobile device platforms for civic-minded techies to consider.
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